After an extensive and rigorous search, the Board of Mental Health First Aid Australia has appointed Nataly Bovopoulos to lead the national not-for-profit organisation.
Chair of the Board, Prof Tony Jorm said, “the Board concluded that Nataly's leadership skills and considerable experience in the mental health sector, along with her strong track record of success with the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Program as Deputy CEO, Company Secretary of the Board and most recently Acting CEO, made her the outstanding candidate for the role of CEO. In particular, Nataly has been instrumental in the continuing innovation, technological development and expansion of the MHFA Program over the last six years.”
Nataly brings over 15 years experience in the not-for-profit mental health sector. In addition to her work with Mental Health First Aid Australia, Nataly has previously been involved in managing mental health promotion programs and coordinating research projects with young people and families experiencing anxiety and mood disorders.
Nataly holds an Honours degree in Psychology and a Masters in International Public Health. She is currently undertaking her PhD on mental health first aid strategies in the workplace with Prof Tony Jorm, co-founder of the MHFA Program. She is also an accredited Standard MHFA Instructor.
On her appointment, Nataly commented: “I'm thrilled and excited to be given the opportunity to serve the MHFA Program in the capacity of CEO. I’m committed to furthering the vision set out by Betty and Tony to increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma to enable early help-seeking for mental health problems.”
Nataly succeeds MHFA Program founder Betty Kitchener AM. At the end of 2016, Betty made the personal decision to step down as CEO after 17 years of commitment to the Program: founding, developing and disseminating the spread of Mental Health First Aid across Australia and internationally to over 20 countries. Betty remains on the Board of Directors and as a consultant leading the development of the MHFA for the Older Person Course.
The Board is delighted to welcome Nataly to the role of CEO and look forward to the organisation’s ongoing development and growth under her leadership as it continues to strive towards achieving its mission to provide high quality, evidence-based mental health first aid education to everyone.